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Made of Sound – Diego Stocco

Imagine a musical universe created by the collision of unique instruments, natural elements and transformed objects. 

This is “Made of Sound”, created by Diego Stocco.

Throughout “Made of Sound” I’m playing for the first time 11 new instruments, along with 6 other instruments that I previously built.

01. Metal Lotus: Built out of a home accent piece, it’s an arrangement of small metallic plates that can be played percussively or with a bow.


02. Expericello: A modified cello with a built-in resonant zither and a metallic structure that keeps the strings suspended. The strings can be pushed forward to bend the pitch. You can see the Expericello also in this video.

03. Prepared Cello: A custom tuned cello with metal bars between the strings. When the hanging metals are pushed or pulled they rattle for a while. Bowing a note at the same time creates a wailing nite that almost sound like a voice.

04. Experibass: A quadruple neck upright bass that combines the classical string family into one instrument. For the Experibass I developed a performing technique called “Stickato” where the custom tuned strings (D, D, A, D or A, A, E, A) are hit with a drum stick, creating a rich resonant sound that produce both rhythm and tonality. When played with a bow, I add extra pressure on the strings, creative a distinctive timbre. You can see the Experibass also in this video.

05. Organ Pipes Flute: A combination of 3 wooden organ pipes that create whispery tonal passages.

06. Constellation: A sculptural instrument based on a piece of wood I picked up in the desert. Combining pieces of wind chimes, a garden weasel, metal triangle, toy bell and body of a classical flute. Played with the back of a piano hammer.

07. Barkcello: An instrument I built out of a piece of bark I found in the woods. Two cello strings. It has a primitive and rough timbre.

08. Pressure Drum: A tom-tom drum with a synthetic skin, producing a low, thick tonal sound. Played backwards and with motion so that it pushes air pressure against the mic. The signal is then compressed and equalized to the point of tonal distortion.

09. Kinetic Woods: A sculptural instrument based on a railroad wood beam combined with dried wood branches. The branches are tied together with thick rubber bands and coiled until they are really tight. It is set in motion by releasing the position of the small branches, creating random wood movements and rhythmic hits.

10. Prepared Cymbalom: An old cymbalom where I added metallic strings from different instrument. I inserted pieces of clothes hangers through the strings to create bowed tonal sounds. Sitting on top there are two anvils made out of railroad tracks, resonating through the strings when hit with a wrench.

11. Luminopiano: The Luminopiano is an instrument I built based on 8 lightbulbs of different sizes. Inside each there’s an electret microphone specifically placed on the tungsten filament. It creates tonal and percussive sounds and its timbre is usually transformed with convolution processing. You can see the Luminopiano also in this video.

12. Bassoforte: A combination of a piano keyboard and electric bass neck/strings. It’s “mostly” a tonal instrument with a Western vibe. A chimney cap holding the strings, works as a resonator and “bell” sound. You can see the Bassoforte also in this video.

13. Fence Bass: A metallic instrument I built with a fence pole, and double bass strings. A metallic plate placed in the center holds a cello bridge and acts as a resonator. You can see the Fence Bass also in this video.

14. Old Window: Based on a home accent piece with several metallic “bridges”. I added a resonant box around it and acoustic bass strings. It can be played with a piano hammer for tonal notes.

15. Totem: A scultpural instrument based on four cymbals/plates hit by spinning plastic tongues. Close mic’ed with moving lavalier mics and ambient mics, it creates tonal shimmering overtones and complex metallic chords.

16. Violino Saltato: A custom tuned violin amplified through a speaker placed inside a gramophone horn. Played with strong rhythmic movements, allowing the bow to jump on the strings, creating a compressed mid-range sound.

17. Drumbo: A tom-tom drum placed on a snare drum stand, with two strings passing through the bottom skin. The strings are bowed with a lot of pressure creating a growling tonal note.

18. Piano Techniques. A piano is a wonderful instrument played in the traditional way, but it’s also a playground for sonic experimentation. I played harmonics, used a wind-up toy against the strings to make a rising sound and played it percussively to create hits and rhythms.

Recording setup: Universal Audio Apollo 8, Røde Microphones, API Preamps and TranZformer.

© 2018 Diego Stocco. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.